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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

96          On the Making of Music,

Acquired Characteristics

If there is any truth in the theory that these are inherited
—and who can doubt it ?—the eye and the finger are but
the aspiration, or word, made manifest in flesh.

Physical and Spiritual

The bodies of many abandoned undertakings lie rotting
unburied up and down the country and their ghosts haunt
the law-courts.

Trail and Writing

Before the invention of writing the range of one man's
influence over another was limited to the range of sight,
sound and scent; besides this there was trail, of many kinds.
Trail unintentionally left is, as it were, hidden sight. Left
intentionally, it is the unit of literature. It is the first mode
of writing, from which grew that power of extending men's
influence over one another by the help of written symbols of
all kinds without which the development of modern civilisa-
tion would have been impossible.

Conveyancing and the Arts

In conveyancing the ultimately potent thing is not the deed
but the invisible intention and desire of the parties to the
deed; the written document itself is only evidence of this
intention and desire. So it is with music, the written notes
are not the main thing, nor is even the heard performance ;
these are only evidences of an internal invisible emotion that
can be felt but never fully expressed. And so it is with the
words of literature and with the forms and colours of painting.

The Rules for Making Literature, Music and
Pictures

The arts of the musician, the painter and the writer are
essentially the same. In composing a fugue, after you have
exposed your subject, which must not be too unwieldy, you
introduce an episode or episodes which must arise out of your